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Alison Lock: a poem


She is running, skipping towards the granite headland

where a mighty fall of rock

is the only boundary between land and ocean

– a child running far ahead, her hair

as gold as a cornfield, anorak the blue of sea.

She is at the edge of the cliff

with the dwellers of the sea-slopes

– bird's-foot-trefoil, sea campion, squill.

Wavering heads catch her eye. They look so fragile

– but they are the tough ones, resisting

the Atlantic winds that gather the salt-spray,

sweep along the cliffs, scouring

all in their wake, leaving only the hardiest

– stonecrop, sea-spurrey, vetch.

The path is narrow, she is an only child

of nine years of age, alone, and yet

wanting to be more alone, for the world

to be cliff and sky, where she

sits on a cushion of sea pinks, buffetted

by the elements, cradled in thrift.

Alison Lock writes poetry, short fiction and creative non-fiction. She is the author of seven publications, as well as a contributor to several anthologies. Her work focuses on the relationship of humans and the environment, connecting an inner world with an exploration of land and sea, a love of nature, through poetry and prose. Her recent publication Lure from Calder Valley Poetry is an account of a traumatic accident and subsequent recovery – a poetic sequence of personal transformation. You can find her here:

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